Settling Into The New Normal

Sarah, a brunette in exercise pants, stands in the terminal of an airport, pointing at decorative dinosaur bones of a brontosaurus, who also wears a mask.

Well, here I sit on an airplane, jet-setting across the country from Orlando to Phoenix for a work trip.

My beloved partner dropped me off at the airport and, after a lengthy, proper kiss goodbye, I was on my way. I have a booster in my arm and a mask on my face–and though I still refuse to eat or drink on the plane while everyone else is doing so, this is as normal as I’ve felt since early 2020.

These moments of “normal” are creeping in more and more.

What a luxury it is to dash out to the store for an ingredient I forgot without a second thought.

How lovely it is to be greeted by the harsh light of the Target fitting room–to be able to actually try on clothes.

I hugged a dear friend the other day without a second thought as to whether or not I might kill her and/or be killed by her.

It’s incredible, how good “normal” feels. While the pandemic certainly isn’t over nor close to endemic, the simple luxuries of not hating every single person who generally breathes in my general direction is so beyond lovely it warrants its own post.

An image that simple says, "I don't want to GET through this. I want to love through this. I want to grieve through this. I want to laugh through this. I want to scream through this. I want to learn through this. I want to open through this. I want to grow through this."

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is, “Sit with your emotions without judging them.”

How sweet it is to sit with my emotions and not simply smolder with helpless rage. I’ve been burning–just twisting, seething, really–for years now.

As we settle into the new normal, however, that lava cools… and there is new, green growth blossoming from the ashes.

Bring on tomorrow; let it shine.

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